Title: Mississippi Slave Narratives from the WPA Records
Submitter: MSGenWeb Slave Narrative Project
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From the WPA Slave Narratives:
Sara Green age 101
Sara Green celebrated her 101st birthday March 18, 1937; a spry, active woman, her faculties are almost unimpaired. She sees without glasses and sits erect in her cane-bottom chair. Her grand-daughter, a women of perhaps 35, attends her.
Aunt Sara's mind wanders, and she does not like to be pinned to direct questions, but she 'knows what she knows', and will argue with anyone who disputes her.
"I belonged to Marster Dick Perkins", she says in her mumbling old voice, and I worked for him as a house girl. They was good white folks and treated us fine. Some of the niggers didn't have good white folks, but I did. There's a pool on marster's place where they used to baptize. But marster's house is used for a barn now", her voice trails off sadly.
"Then Miss Mary got married", continues Aunt Sara, "and Marster give me and my brother and sister to her. She was a sweet lady. The white folks called her Elizabeth, or Lizzie, but us niggers called her Miss Mary. She married
Mr. Richard Green partner with Mr. Dorsey Outlaw in running a sawmill. I nursed for her, and they was good white folks."
When asked what she did after the surrender, Aunt Sara looked surprised and said, "why I just kept on living with my white folks. I didn't pay no 'tension much to de war. Marster, he went the Yankees burnt the saw-mill. But I didn't take much 'count of it. If I had knowd you chillun would be coming asking me things, I would have paid more tention."
Aunt Sara is a Baptist and very religious. When told that the interviewer was of another denomination, she observed, "yo church don't go to heaven noway." When asked if she joined the church when she was young she answered, "no'm, I should say not; when I was young, I wasn't thinking about religion."
She has had a quiet uneventful, but pleasant existence with her "good white folks", and still enjoys life. Her husband and seven children are dead, but she has a good home with a devoted grand-daughter. Of her family, she says: "They are at rest and better off than we are. But I guess the Lord is keeping me here for something."
Transcribed by Ann Allen Geoghegan
The Federal Writer’s Project of
The Works Progress Administration
For the State of Mississippi